Related commentaries – Cleansing

Doctor Born into a World of Dying Women

In 1818, Ignaz Phillip Semmelweis was born into a world of dying women. The finest hospitals lost one out of six young mothers to the scourge of “childbed fever.” A doctor’s daily routine began in the dissecting room where he performed autopsies. From there he made his way to the hospital to examine expectant mothers without ever pausing to wash his hands. Dr. Semmelweis was the first man in history to associate such examinations with the result of infection and death. He then began the practice of washing his hands with a chlorine solution, and after eleven years and the delivery of 8,537 babies, he lost only 184 mothers-about one in fifty. He spent a big part of his life lecturing and debating with his colleagues. (Source Unknown).